A diverse range of community issues and concerns raised over the proposed Twin Creek wind farm development 11km north-east of Kapunda were formally heard in Tanunda on Tuesday, May 21.
The State Commission Assessment Panel met with landholders and residents affected by the estimated $242 million wind farm which was lodged by Renewable Energy Systems (RES) Ltd in early 2017.
The Victorian based company, seeks to construct a wind farm and energy storage facility, comprising 51 wind turbine generators (183 MW) and battery energy storage facility (50 MW) with associated infrastructure.
The development falls into three council zones – Light, Goyder and Mid Murray.
According to the panel’s agenda, the proposed development was publicly notified on two separate occasions with 105 representations received.
The panel had learned of public concerns in relation to “potential or perceived impacts” of the wind farm on their properties, the locality and the community.
On Tuesday at the Barossa Weintal, residents near the site at Mount Rufus and St Kitts gathered to voice concerns which included the development threatening wildlife and endangered species, and the lowering of house values to name a few.
‘By comparison, only a very small number of representations indicated support for the proposal,’ the panel’s agenda stated.
In October 2018, Hampden resident Mary Morris, whose property will be located 10kms from the proposed site, told Barossa Herald her primary concern focuses on the Pygmy Blue-tongue lizards, an endangered species which was previously thought to be extinct and rediscovered near Burra in 1992.
“These species are also very sensitive to vibrations and shadow flickering; they don’t feed in those conditions,” she had shared.
It is understood the project could also impact southern hairy-nosed wombats, with burrows reported near the site.
Ms Morris’ concerns, among others, also turned to the 51 turbine wind farm having a “visual impact for the Barossa Valley.”
Initially, RES proposed to install 90 turbines, however, following environmental surveys on the site this figure was revised to 51, 180-metre high turbines.
‘The Goyder Regional Council chose not to provide any comments in relation to the proposal, whilst no formal objections were raised by either the Light Regional or Mid Murray councils, or any of the relevant State Government agencies,’ the panel agenda further stated.
The panel is expected to provide an outcome of the development over the coming months.
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